Regina v E: CACD 26 Apr 2004

The court was asked as to the permissibility of admitting covert recordings of the accused’s car by investigating officers, which recorded the accused’s words as they spoke into their telephones. The defendants said that this amount to interception of the calls.
Held: If what happened was interception, evidence of the content of any telephone calls is rendered inadmissible by section 17(1)(a). However: ‘the natural meaning of the expression ‘interception’ denotes some inference or abstraction of the signal, whether it is passing along wires or by wireless telegraphy, during the process of transmission. The recording of a person’s voice, independently of the fact that at the time he is using a telephone, does not become interception simply because what he says goes not only go into the recorder, but, by separate process, is transmitted by a telecommunications system.’
RIPA should be construed, if possible, so as to comply with Article 8, European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant Directives.

Rose VP CACD LJ, Hughes, Gloster JJ
Times 27-May-2004, [2004] EWCA Crim 1243, [2004] 1 WLR 3279, [2004] 2 Cr App R 29
Criminal Procdures and Investigations Act 1996 35, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 29, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Directive 97/66, Police Act 1997 92
CitedRegina v Effik; Regina v Mitchell HL 22-Jul-1994
The material obtained by intercepting signals passing between a base unit and the handset of a cordless telephone was admissible because no communication was being made by means of a public system when the calls were intercepted by the police. A . .

Cited by:
CitedEdmondson and Others v Regina CACD 28-Jun-2013
Course of Transmission includes Voicemails
The defendants appealed against convictions for conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemail messages whilst employed in various positions in newspapers. The issue boiled down to when the ‘course of transmission’ of a voicemail message ended, that is . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence, Human Rights, European, Police

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.466413